While their personalities may be larger than life, the Doberman breed is actually a considered medium- to large-sized breed. The average Doberman weight can range from about 60 to 90 pounds, depending on the height, sex, and health history of the dog.
For example, our male Doberman, Kai, was very tall (35 inches) with a wide, deep chest and big bone structure. His ideal weight was about 85 pounds, but at times he verged closer to 100 pounds. Our female Doberman, KC, is 33 inches tall with a slender skeletal build, narrow shoulders and hips, and dainty little face (so dainty, in fact, that one of her nicknames is “Ratty” because sometimes her little face looks like a rat face). Her ideal weight is around 65 pounds, although when we brought her home, she was closer to 75 pounds.
As with most mammals, packing on the extra pounds comes with health risks. In large dogs, those added pounds put them more at risk of hip diseases and other bone and joint problems, diabetes, heart disease, difficulty breathing… basically, similar health risks that we humans face if we are overweight.
On the other hand, KC contracted hookworm and two tick-borne diseases in Ghana and stopped eating. She lost a lot of weight and was 54 pounds at her vet visit; basically, she was emaciated. Being underweight also comes with its own set of health risks, including being cold even in normal temperatures, loss of hair and teeth, brittle bones, a weakened immune system, lethargy, and weakness… basically, similar health risks that we humans face if we are underweight.
How do you know if your Doberman’s weight just right?
Here are a few pointers:
- At a just right weight, your Doberman will look fit. You can see muscle definition and you can glimpse the rib cage just under the skin. If you run your hand along the dog’s side, you can feel the rib cage, but it isn’t bony. The hip and shoulder bones should not be pronounced, they should be covered by good muscle definition. Your dog will have energy, clear eyes, pink gums, a normal heartbeat, and respiratory rate, and will eat normally.
- When your Doberman is overweight, they will look fat. They can become thick throughout their bodies, including their necks. If your Doberman’s neck is bigger than its head, then your dog is most likely obese. If you run your hand along the dog’s side, you will feel fat instead of a rib cage. If your dog is severely overweight, they will waddle and have a hard time getting up. They will tire easily and may have irregular heartbeats and respiratory rates. Their eyes may be glassy or cloudy.
- When your Doberman is underweight, they will look emaciated. You will see their rib cages, shoulders, hips, pelvis, and collar bones protruding. You won’t need to run your hand along their sides to feel their ribs – you will see the ribs defined very clearly, like a skeleton covered with some fur. An underweight Doberman is likely to be lethargic, inappetence, frequently cold, and generally frail. They may trip and fall on walks because they simply lack the energy to keep themselves upright. Their gums may be very pale and their eyes may be dry and hazy.
The best advice is to talk to your vet about what your Doberman should look and behave like at an ideal weight. Remember that your dog’s “ideal weight” depends on age, health history, and sex, which is why it’s important to seek your vet’s advice on this topic.